Forget about employee engagement. The buzz words being thrown around by HR directors are ‘employee experience’ and it’s about more than shoving some free biccies and a bowl of fruit in the tea room.
While perks (such as said biccies and fruit) are nice, and can make employees happy for a while, they’re generally short-term solutions that do little to create a positive employee experience.
So what is it? The employee experience is ultimately how the staff member feels they are valued and cared for on an emotional, mental, social and intellectual level.
Jeanne Meister, author of The Future Workplace Experience, says, “We define employee experience simply as seeing the world through the eyes of our employees, staying connected, and being aware of their major milestones.”
While a day off for your birthday is a nice perk, employees are more likely to remember how their company handled the tough times; such as when they get a phone call mid-shift, telling them a family member isn’t well; how they deliver a difficult performance review; or how staff survey feedback is received by management. The employee experience centres on how the staff member perceives these kinds of events and how they are handled by their superiors.
And the outcome? It’s simple, really. “When management seems to be invested in its people, when they make it easy for employees to imagine themselves as part of the company’s future, they’re going to feel like the company cares about them. This will make them far less likely to leave to seek fulfilment elsewhere, because you’re already providing it,” says a representative from HR Resolutions.
Executed properly, the employee experience works to transform your business from within. A positive employee experience leads to higher employee retention, the knock-on effect of which is a higher customer satisfaction rate.
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